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Sunday, February 4, 2001 -- Morgantown, WV
Classic's New Years Eve 4 Mile Trail Race
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]

Jeff Waldo
A little winter thaw clears the way on the Decker's Creek Trail
How about a New Year's celebration in February? Classic's Restaurant and Lounge in Sabraton was the host for just such a party. Now, they had every intention of holding the festivities on New Year's Eve 2000, but Mother Nature refused to cooperate. When your party includes sending dozens of runners out to trek four miles of rail-trail, nasty snow and ice make some folks nervous (especially those with liability concerns).

So, after two reschedulings, a somewhat exasperated Bob Hiser finally got the final race of the Y2K Trail Series underway. (The New Years Day 2000 & WV Brew Pub Twilight 5 Miler were the others.) And, as luck would have it, the weather was perfect for a mid-winter run. Temperatures climbed into the fifties on a calm day when most of the snow and ice had melted away.

Schell & Welker
What a great day to play outside
The four-mile course sent runners heading up-stream along the scenic Decker's Creek trail at just a slight uphill grade. The paved surface soon turned to crushed limestone and some soggy footing came with it. But, at the two-mile mark it was time to turn around and head for the finish with gravity, just ever so slightly, in your favor.

Right from the start it was local talent, and the race director's son, 17-year-old Stephen Hiser setting the pace. His time of 23:44 had him finishing about a minute ahead of the rest of the field.

Looking to take second was another 17-year-old, Jay Urse, from Fairmont, WV. Urse, however, had 15-year-old Grafton, WV, native Craig McDougal chasing him the whole way. In the end it was Urse (24:42) holding off McDougal (24:50) to claim second by eight seconds.

Becky Headley
Ready for smile at the finish
While teenagers dominated the front of the men's field, it was the thirty-something crowd leading the way for the women. Pittsburgh's Kimiko Welch had little competition and the 31-year-old took advantage with a 32:39 first place overall time. Another Pennsylvanian, Point Marion's 34-year-old Mary Hubeaut took second in 37:48. Making sure the teenagers weren't shut out, 14-year-old Miranda Zickefoose from Philippi, WV, grabbed third overall at 38:42.

As all the finishers made there way back to Classic's, it certainly wasn't a celebration for the end of 2000. Rather, it was the start (or continuation) of a great 2001 running year. With that in mind, a shout-out goes to first time racer's and good friends Becky Headley and Elizabeth McCormick. The two 15-year-old runners didn't exactly have an easy time at it, but never did they consider not finishing. They each completed the race with smiles and if you go by the wisdom of Paul Brown, "A winner never whines", they certainly finished among the winners.

A final thanks goes out to Bob Hiser, Bob Baker, the Morgantown Roadrunners, and all the patient folks that helped put on this event. And, next time your looking for some great home cooking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, don't forget to pay a visit to Classic's!